Elderly persons in Finland

Ikäihmisille Suomessa
This page contains information on home care, informal care, housing services and in-patient care and discounts for pensioners in Finland.

If you move to Finland from another Nordic country, you are entitled to the following services if you are registered as living permanently in Finland, i.e. your municipality of residence is in Finland. You can find more information about population registration on the page Notifying a move and population registration in Finland.

You can also find more information on Info Norden on medicines and reimbursement for medicine expenses, falling ill and healthcare as well as on pensions in Finland.

Home care

Support for coping at home is provided in the form of home care and home healthcare services. Under the Social Welfare Act, in non-urgent cases all persons aged 75 or over are entitled to an assessment of their need for social services within a specified period. You can find more information on home care on the Association of Finnish Municipalities website.

The following are available:

  • Services in the home (assistance with everyday chores)
  • Home healthcare (healthcare and rehabilitation at home with a doctor’s referral)
  • Support services (for example meal, cleaning, shopping, safety and transport services)

Informal care

Informal care means nursing and care that is provided in the home by a carer who is a family member or other person close to the person being cared for who has made a family care agreement with the municipality. Find out more about informal care on the Association of Finnish Municipalities website.

You can get support for informal care from the social services office in the municipality of residence of the person being cared for. Support for informal care is an entity which consists of care allowance, the services needed for the person being cared for and support for the carer. The care allowance is taxable income. 

You can also get more information on informal care from Carers Finland.

Housing services and in-patient care

Housing services are meant for people who for various reasons need support and services to arrange their housing. You can find more information on housing services and in-patient care on the Association of Finnish Municipalities website.

Supported and service housing

Supported and service housing are available for persons who need more support with housing than can be provided in an ordinary home. Intensive service housing is provided for persons who need a lot of help, care and supervision. Residents in intensified service housing units have their own room or flat and there are also shared spaces. In intensified service housing the staff are on hand 24 hours a day.

In service and supported housing, residents pay their healthcare costs, medicines, clothes, transport costs and other personal expenditure and rent themselves. The amount charged depends on the services and residents’ ability to pay.

Institutional care

Long-term care for elderly persons can be provided in an institution if there are medical reasons or if it is necessary to make care safe. Persons in long-term institutional care pay a monthly care fee depending on their ability to pay. The fees charged depend on the person’s pension and other income.

Short-term institutional care can be provided for elderly people to help them and their family carer to cope at home. This also helps to prevent the need for permanent institutional care. Short-term spells of care can be alternated regularly with living at home or they can be sporadic. As well as care, institutional care also includes meals, medicines, clothes and other care.

An assessment is made before admission to institutional care. First of all contact your own doctor. Depending on your municipality you may have to go on a waiting list for a place in an institution.

Discounts and pensioners’ passes

There are various discounts for pensioners, for example for rail and bus travel and for sporting and cultural services. To get the discount, present your identity card or pensioner’s pass. 

More information

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NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.

Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Here you can find info and tips if you wish to move, work, study, seek support or start a business in the Nordic region.